Well, after many days of adventure, we are finally at a resting place safe enough for me to take a breath and write down a few thoughts. It’s evening now and I’m sitting on the aft of our newly acquired ship listening to the waves gently lap against the side, feeling the cool breeze blow against my cheeks. I can see the many lights up on the hill of Candlekeep, flickering in and out but ever constant. From here the great library looks like a castle, a castle of knowledge with many willing to lay down their lives to protect the knowledge they’ve worked so hard to collect…and one of our own hoping to FIND life with the knowledge inside those library walls. Marcus seems to be in good spirits that we’re this much closer to hopefully figuring out exactly what is ailing him, but his health looks worse as we go. I fear his time is running out and am hopeful that he can cling on a bit longer by sheer force of faith.
I mentioned our new ship but have failed to say how we came by it. Let me back up a bit to my last entry and make note of how we came to be where we are.
When last I made note we were being (it seemed) pursued by a potential enemy ship in the Astral Plane. They were behind us and had the advantage of being above us, so Bilge raised the ship up to their level and put us sideways. This way we could get a better look at what we were up against were they to be hostile (but of course they were, lower species scum!). They appeared to be sizing us up but made no threatening moves…yet looking at their armor and the way they handled themselves, they appeared to be used to taking what they wanted. We wasted no time in showing initiative by attacking them, Q in the lead!
The battle is a bit of a blur, it all seemed to happen so fast…I can remember bits and pieces. I know we started off with releasing our balista into the nearest person on the prow of their ship, he must have taken at least two bolts before toppling over sideways! I couldn’t be sure but based on my studies I believe they are Githyanki, a race which inheritently is magical…so I was going to need to be on my game. I had Silmara fly up above their ship invisible and cast a dispel magic on the back end of their ship where we could see several of their fighters. I figured it prudent just in case they had a reflect on themselves or the ship itself. I then dropped a fireball right between them, burning a couple of them and killing two others. The back canopy burst into flame also, apparently this ship wasn’t treated to resist fire damage!
Our warriors exchanged blows back and forth, I got lost in the chaos when all of the sudden my world exploded. I saw the pea-sized ball just a second too late, then I got to experience the discomfort of a fireball erupting fully on me, blasting me back against the railing on the ship and setting my hair on fire. It hurt, I won’t lie…I was lucky it didn’t take me out entirely, but you don’t get to be a mage without some experience with fire, so I quickly crawled to the back side of the ship and floated down behind it to catch my breath. I couldn’t really see what was going on with my companions but I could hear the commotion up above me as Bilge apparently locked weapons with more than one Gith.
Once I caught my breath I snuck my head beneath the ship and cast an inaudibility spell on the one Gith who had fireballed me..take that! Then again a while later I carefully looked beneath the ship, I saw the first Gith we attacked with the bolt standing on his feet, flames on him and seeming not to care!! Apparently there was some magic at work so I cast a dispel to hopefully extinguish whatever was helping him stay on his feet. When next I looked he was down floating out in the air, apparently one of my people must have taken him out. I see in his spot there’s the Captain standing beside the one who was still silenced, I figured I wouldn’t get a better chance and cast Evard’s Black Tentacles. It’s a bit of a nasty spell to manage because it’s just as dangerous to friend versus foe…but figured it was worth the risk. I poked my head back again so as to not be seen. I could hear the screams from the Captain as he was grabbed by a tentacle but quickly went away, I assume he cut it free, then the groaning sound of the mast being squeezed and broken let me know another tentacle had found a mark…and not the one I was hoping for! Then, all of the sudden the ship I’m hiding behind lurches sideways near me, luckily I wasn’t hit by it! I quickly looked under the ship only to see the same two Gith up front and the front of their ship rammed into the side of ours! They appeared to be concentrating on breaking the hull of our ship…and successfully doing so. I could hear the wind and moan as the air elemental begins screaming out of the middle of the ship like an angry tornado, released by the broken magic of the ships tear. I was caught too close to the exit and was tossed around and into the ship enough that it roughed me up even more, making me seriously wonder if I would live to fight another battle! I reached out and grabbed on to the ship preventing myself from being thrown out into the air, but the damage was done. Eventually the screaming and gusting stopped and the ship was still.
I came back topside to see one Gith charmed by Thoebben, patting flames out as an apparent Web spell was being cut and burned away. He was looking as calm as one might expect under such an enchantment. I see we had one other on his feet still that was hostile, and I was pretty much out of spells for fighting, I cast Charm on him to calm him down. Honestly I don’t remember if it took or not as I slumped to the deck to catch my breath…the battle was catching up to me and I was needing a rest. The only thing left to do was get rid of those nasty tentacles so we could actually board the ship. Luckily our newly charmed friend had a dispel magic handy so we didn’t have to worry about spending too much time trying to kill them without getting grabbed ourselves!
Bilge wasn’t happy…the ship was broken nearly in half, the elemental was gone, it was in essence dead in the “water”. We had to abandon ship. We spent some time moving our stuff over and getting the newly acquired ship ready to sail, plus taking inventory of any items or gold we found on their ship. We did acquire a few nice items: a ring of fire resistance for Q, a wand of flame extinguishing for Markain, an amulet of planar travel that I’m wearing (which will definitely come in handy!) and a nice enchanted longsword for Zurn. Two other weapons were found also, enchanted, but don’t need them so will sell them once we get to a decent town. Plenty of gold and platinum in the chest also, along with some gems and artwork.
Thoebben passed out a few heals to those of us that needed it, and we were on our way. The thing is, it takes two people to make the ship move so it had to be Markain and I since we tend to be the more intelligent of the group. We wouldn’t want to tell them that, but we both know it to be true. We could only make it move a little bit at a time but at least it was something. It’s hard to know how long it took us, time is weird in the Astral Plane, but eventually we got to an area where we could see the shimmering…the spot where the fabric between the planes was weaker…and we pushed right through with the ship. We weren’t sure what to expect since the boat we have was meant for the Astral Plane. It seemed sea-worthy, but it obviously couldn’t fly. We had no idea if we’d come through in the air, water, land, what!? I had two fly
and a featherfall spell memorized just in case. The Gods smiled upon us this time, we came through onto the water but a bit low,
it lurched our ship up into the air a bit as everything got settled out…but we were through and floating!!
We had no idea where we were. We could see a landmass in the distance, but other than that, nothing. I didn’t recognize anything, nor did Abbot, so we just sailed towards shore a bit. We then decided to go North because one way was as good as another. We ended up coming upon a massive city, towering walls down near the water and even out into the city. Many smaller fishing boats floating here and there and a big opening for us to sail right into the city. I remember from my studies and time before that this must be the famed city of Waterdeep. Not Candlekeep where we were hoping to find, but a good city nonetheless…and now that we know where we are, Abbot knows that we should have went south to Candlekeep, ha! No matter, we’re here, now is a good time to stretch our land-legs out a bit and get a drink (or 7 Q is saying)! We dock with strange looks from the wharfmaster but a couple of gold coins and he’s our best friend. Funny how that works. I can visibly see Q ready to explode at the loss of gold, to a dwarf gold means so much more than to a high elf. What have we of such shiny baubles except to further our own knowledge and enlightenment? There’s always more to be found somewhere.
We left Marcus, Bilge and Abbot onboard as they had little interest in leaving the safety and comfort of the ship.
From the directions our new “friend” give us, we head up into the city to find an apothecary and provisions. Oh, and a place to get those drinks Q continually grumbles into his beard… ha! We pick up some provisions for nearly a fortnight, then try to purchase some healing potions but they are way too rich for our blood. Orsabba’s Fine Imports might be fine, but they’re not cheap enough! We found a cartographer who also wanted way too much for a map of the Sword Coast and Candlekeep. Q and Zurn go grab some drinks while the rest of us wandered around the streets looking at shops. So many people and shops, one could spend a month just looking at the wares!! We eventually all meet back up at a shop known for having good weapons (at least from the locals) and find a nice new weapon for Markain. It is called Longtooth and can be either a dagger or short sword at will, a powerfull dweomer about it! We sell the shopkeep our two long swords we retrieved from our battle with the Gith and headed out. We find a different shop with cheaper maps and move long to our next
shop. I had heard that in order to buy scrolls you had to go through the local Mages guild, the Watchful Order of Mages and Protectors.
Asking around I find where to petition them and head that way. Upon entering the building it immediately feels comfortable, and I can
feel the tinkling of spells around me that are laid into the room, the door, and from the smiling mage standing in front of me.
I can tell they’re sniffing me out so to speak, but know that is normal and am not concerned about it. The person at the counter is the
Speaker of the Order and has a symbol of an upraised white fist on his robe. He tells me some details about their order and asks if I am interested in joining, and it sounds like an interesting idea, but it would take more time than I currently have. I thank him for the knowledge and we head back towards the dock. Of course, we have to stop on the way there to have yet another drink…can that dwarf ever drink enough?? And he still needs to grab his keg to head back with that!! <scoff>
I will say, begrudgingly, that I’m glad we stopped in. I was lucky enough to purchase a couple of healing potions from a wizard patron, I know they will come in handy at some point! I see Markain heading over to talk to a group of little people, they all seem to be jovially teasing her about getting caught trying to lift a coin from Q’s trousers, a hilarious task indeed since he’s so worried about losing it! Ha!
Eventually we head back out and back to the ship. We set sail and as we are backing out Silmara and I thought it’d be fun to play a trick on the wharfmaster…she ties his shoestrings together and he topples head over heals right into the water! Oh what a great day!
From there we spent about 9 days traveling south along the Sword Coast to Candlekeep. Here we had plenty of time to get everything in order, get plenty of rest to heal up from our battle, and plenty of time for me to copy any spells needing copied. I am continually studying the books I’ve picked up along the way, learning as much as I can in whatever spare time we find.
We got to Candlekeep but realized one big problem…we can’t dock! We have no anchor as this ship wasn’t designed to need one, and we can’t get near enough to swim over…and of course we have no dingy either. So Q was planning on going with Bilge back up the coast to Baldur’s Gate, according to the map we purchased it’s about a days travel back north. There he can pick up the stuff we need and meet us back down here once we’re done with the library. I am thinking that I have enough spells to get those of us interested in going to the library on the land, and it’s only a matter of a walk up to the top of the hill to be there. And that brings us full circle! I have memorized all of the spells necessary to transfer people to the shore and have all of my books ready to take with me in hopes that they’re interested in a couple of them at least. Not sure exactly who is coming with us but I’ll be ready to go when they are. I’m going to stop writing now, Silmara is looking at me with an annoyed expression, I think she’s getting bored…and we all know a bored pixie is a bad thing for all of those near one.